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Aditya Mehta all set for Pro Snooker


India's rising snooker star, Aditya Mehta, has left for Antwerp en route to UK where he will take part in the Snooker professional circuit, the first Indian in more than a decade since Yasin Merchant last played there. After the reaching the Asian final at Dubai, Mehta went for the 6-Red pro-am event in Bangkok where he all but beat legend Jimmy White. He says competing against the world's best has given him a sneak preview of what lies ahead.


Excerpts from the interview:
How do you see your prospects for the pro circuit?
There will be eight tournaments. I will be playing in the qualifiers for these, a round of 96. The round of 32 of these events are held in UK. The first two are the Northern Ireland Open and the China Open in August.

How was the Bangkok experience?
It was frustrating. Every time I would succumb to pressure while taking the last red. That squandered all the good work. I must learn not to pressure on that one ball, treat it as any other.

Which was your best match?
Against Martin Gould. It went to the last frame and the last ball and he scraped through. I had my moments against the eventual champ Ricky Walden. He punished me for every miss. I know what to expect in the pro ranks.

Have you got over the lost to Jin Long in the Asian final?
Yes, I beat him in the first round when we were still trying to settle down and judge the tables. He probably took more time to get used to the conditions which were not ideal on the first day.

Beating Pankaj Advani must have been satisfying. Did he play badly or you did well?
A bit of both . I did not miss much and my long potting was going great. So there was a bit of pressure on his safety. Plus, he was favourite so the pressure was on him and it showed.

What's been the change in your game?
I think ever since I came back from my break in 2007, I have become a bit more mentally stable and have stopped putting unnecessary pressure on myself. That is probably where the change has come and making it to the final of the national in Hyderabad was a turning point in my career.

What steps are you taking to get better?
I have a new coach now, PJ Nolan, who I went to in Ireland before this tournament. He really helped me a lot with my confidence. All I have to do now is remember what I did wrong or what I missed most and practice it more. At the academy I will have the chance to play against the Chinese and also Indians Lucky Vatnani and Saurav Kothari.


Pradeep Vijayakar :: Thursday 07 August 2008


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Last modified: Friday August 08, 2008 22:30:05 +0530